North Carolina Education Lottery digital instants hit $1 billion in sales

June 13, 2024 8:01 PM
  • Sam Bentham, Special to CDC Gaming Reports
June 13, 2024 8:01 PM
  • Sam Bentham, Special to CDC Gaming Reports
  • North Carolina

The North Carolina Education Lottery launched its digital instants in November and as of the weekend of June 9, instant sales in the state have surpassed $1 billion.

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According to lottery officials, this makes it the fastest state selling this kind of product to reach this landmark.

Digital instants accounted for $943 million in sales through May, with data showing that 68 percent of these came through mobile apps. The other 32 percent comes through players buying instants through desktop devices. The Education Lottery estimated $100 million in revenue would come through instants, which was exceeded as the games brought in $122 million in revenue.

“The launch of digital instant games has been the catalyst this year to allow us to post year-over-year revenue gains,” said Greg Bowers, Education Lottery’s deputy executive director for finance. “As we’ve been predicting, that growth in traditional lottery games that we’ve seen would slow or become negative at some point. That time is now.”

Bowers also highlighted concerns that legalized online sports betting may affect lottery sales, including mobile scratch-offs. Since the launch of sports betting in March, the state has handled more than $1.5 billion in wagers and collected more than $40 million in tax.

“It’s most likely too early for us to quantify the impact it’s going to have on our regular traditional lottery games, especially scratch-offs,” Bowers said. “We are looking at that. We’re carefully looking at what other lotteries or other states have seen when they launch sports betting. It may. It may not have a big impact, it may have a small impact. We’re still looking at that.”